It’s important to take the time to mark achievements. Today at HomeLink Healthcare (HLHC), we’re proud to celebrate a significant landmark with one of our co-created services: saving over 10,000 bed days for the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (NNUHT). For the almost 600 patients who have already benefitted from this pioneering service, this means an average of 18 days at home instead of in hospital.

We partnered with NNUHT to create a harmonious service that would relieve in-patient capacity at the hospital and enhance patient choice. Delayed transfers of care and high bed occupancy rates are persistent challenges for much of the NHS. The joint service we developed with Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals – NNUH at Home – combated these problems by creating additional capacity and easing and speeding the flow of patients from hospital to home, while continuing to deliver expert care. Open and positive collaboration is a key element of NNUH at Home, and a reason our partnership has been so successful. The service compliments and integrates with existing systems, rather than replicating them.

NNUH at Home provides two home-care pathways. ‘Early Supported Discharge’ offers bridging packages of care so that patients can leave hospital as soon as they are medically fit to do so, supported in the comfort of their homes while longer term health and social care is identified. Under the ‘Virtual Ward’ pathway, IV therapy is delivered at home by our team, with the patient remaining under the care of the hospital consultant.

The service has enjoyed outstanding patient satisfaction: 100% would recommend to their friends and family. This is the greatest achievement: for us, patients come first, always.

In the words of one NNUH at Home patient: “This is a really good service that should be expanded. It enabled me to come home two weeks earlier which was better for my wellbeing and saved the cost of me being in hospital. The nurses were very friendly and considerate.”

We believe this milestone demonstrates that when the NHS and the private sector join together harmoniously, brilliant feats can be accomplished. On every side, there is a growing recognition of both the strength of these partnerships and the necessity. We hope to continue to play our part in promoting and delivering them – for the benefit of hospitals, healthcare workers, and most importantly, patients.

As Cursty Pepper, Emergency & Urgent Care Performance & Recovery Operations Director at NNUHT and SRO of the service, comments: “We are delighted to have reached such a positive landmark for this invaluable service that, through collaborative working, has led to us being able to support so many patients return to their own homes sooner, and in turn release bed capacity to support improved flow through the hospital.

“We look forward to continuing on this journey and to further develop the model as part of the Norfolk and Waveney System urgent care programme.”

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